Frank Conroy Silver Flash Stakes (Group 3) | 7f | 2yo | RTV
This has been the stepping stone for some of the most talented fillies to ever come out of Ballydoyle. Love won it last year, Happily in 2017, Oaks heroine Qualify in 2014 and the unbeaten juvenile Maybe in 2011.
Love, winner of the Silver Flash in 2019, winning the Oaks, photo Dan Abraham
Indeed, even Alice Springs turned up here, but she found Tanaza too good in a quality running of the race in 2015.
It seems Snowfall is the number one from the Aidan O’Brien stable on this occasion and she looks to be learning all the time. Perhaps she would have won her maiden at the second time of asking but for almost being brought down a furlong out at the Curragh, but she gained compensation in stylish fashion next time. She looks smart.
Just as was the case last year, it seems Jessica Harrington has a whole host of exceptional juvenile fillies and she has picked Oodnadatta and No Speak Alexander from the bunch to tackle the Group 3.
The trainer has said that only one of the pair will show up. If it stays dry at Leopardstown, Oodnadatta will try to follow up her front-running success in a course-and distance-maiden.
If the heavens open, No Speak Alexander will step in and try to confirm the impression she created on bottomless ground at Roscommon.
Donnacha O'Brien runs two and Hazel could be the most interesting of the pair. She has been beaten at short odds in maidens, but her trainer has unwavering faith in her and you could see a different filly here.
Hazel could prove to be the value, but Snowfall might be the star.
What they say
Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Finest and Snowfall
We’ve been very happy with Snowfall’s progression over the last few weeks. We were delighted with the way she won at the Curragh, as she'd been a bit unlucky the previous day, and everything has gone well since. Finest won her maiden at Limerick and is coming along nicely.
Donnacha O’Brien, trainer of Hazel and Shale
Shale was very good at Gowran. She's stepping down in trip, but I think she can be effective over seven. Given the way the ground was the last day, any rain will help. We've always thought a lot of Hazel. She’s been beaten in two maidens now, but I still think she's capable of stepping into Group company and being very competitive. We’re going to try a few things with her and ride her a bit more patiently.
Jessica Harrington, trainer of No Speak Alexander and Oodnadatta
I’m only running one of them. Oodnadatta will run if the ground stays the way it is. We thought she was good before her debut and she proved us right. We like her. No Speak Alexander loved the softer ground at Roscommon and, if the rain arrives, she'll show up here.
Joseph O’Brien, trainer of Pretty Gorgeous
She was good at Bellewstown and this has been the plan ever since. That said, it looks a very hot race this year.